Edge of a Slippery Slope

My surviving musical output (first half of it, anyway) from 1962:


I must have quickly decided that two-part counterpoint was too much work. I’d love to know, though, how seriously I meant that A-flat key signature in the bass. I’m sure I thought I should fill out the end of each line with rests rather than leave it blank. The piece ends with a V6-I cadence in whole notes. Seven years later, at age 13, I still didn’t know what a fugue was, but I embarked on a career in music with a tritone-filled imitation of the Bach inventions I’d been playing:


 And four years after that, at the end of high school, I had not only discovered quartal harmony, but attempted (and maybe succeeded) to exhaust its fertility in a single piece, titled “Impacts,” which I played at my senior recital:


Note the fractional meter, an Ives inheritance. You’ll notice I kept lengthening my name – afraid I’d be confused with all the other Kyle Ganns around. Were time travel possible, I would go back to Dallas, August 1969, and tell the young me, “Kyle, I know it looks like fun now, and you imagine that people will pay favorable attention someday, but don’t even get started.” I surely would.



  1. Michael Golzmane says

    Oh…. I love this! I would have encouraged you to keep it up! And hey, it looks like you have. Wow–my advice worked! :-)

  2. says

    “Go Walking with Me” is charming; those rests are a nice touch. Turn it into a bass line, and you’ll fill the dance floor. I note with sadness that your “Impacts” seems to imitate my “Prologue” for brass, written two years earlier.

    I have, by the way, posted my “Opus No. 1” on my site; you might enjoy it. And stay away from that time travel; you’ll only regret it.

    KG replies: Why with sadness? I’ve spent my career working out the ramifications of your quarter-note theory.

    • says

      Sad at such shameless appropriation. But judging from “Go Walking with Me,” you beat me to those quarter notes by years.

      KG replies: Oh… right. And eight quarter-notes in 8/8 meter! Quite a tuplet.